It’s her sparkling eyes that I’ll remember. A lovely woman cherished by many, our dear Martita Brito passed away on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Marta embraced life with infectious enthusiasm, and she seemed to pull energy from the earth and radiate it out through her touch, her smile and her eyes. She often put others first and herself last, and she spread a large swath of sunshine wherever she went. Continue reading
(MINDO, Ecuador)The view of the bamboo was as lovely upside down as it was right-side up! I am in town to get a few supplies and head back to the property before dark catches me on the road. Will be back next week, but wanted to send a smoke signal that all’s fine in the cloud forest!
Enjoy the song (below) and a sample of photos taken this week.
(Mindo-Rio Cinto- Ecuador) Last week’s Timeout for Art was published through the magic of “Publish at a later date” option, so I was immersed in the cloud forest when “Timeout” rolled out last Thursday morning. Suspecting that my buddy-support system might be worried, I drove into town this afternoon to buy a few supplies, check emails and return before dark.
Your comments gave me grand smiles, and I’ll be back online at the end of the week to properly thank all of you. Ann, I’ll dust off the magic carpet and catch those magical full-moon-eclipse beams for a fast kitchen makeover! Karen, thanks for your beautiful comment – you are an extremely-talented artist, and I’m glad that my unique life gives you such pleasure!
Photos won’t upload, emails won’t open – the internet keeps ‘dropping’ the signal, so I’ll publish this and scram home just ahead of the rising moon! After a restart, it would not connect to any network. I selected, “Cannot Connect, Help” and was given this message: You are not connected to the Internet. To get online Help, which shows you the latest help content, you need to be connected to the Internet.”
Thanks again, everyone! See you at the end of the week, weather and internet permitting!
“When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”
Mindo Ecuador – Cutting a few old boards to custom fit the sink area of the kitchen, Barbara and I enjoyed a 2-day Timeout for Art this past weekend. We took turns with the hand saw then checked to be sure the boards fit the spaces. After being sanded, the boards were then prepped with white paint. Mixing paints to match the yellow and green kitchen tiles, we sat on the front porch and painted while hummingbirds critiqued our progress. Adding cup hooks and an under-the-counter light helped pull together a photo-worthy kitchen!
Step inside and join us for a cup of coffee; or perhaps you’d prefer a cup of hot chocolate instead?! Continue reading
(Playa El Matal/Jama/Manabi/Ecuador)
“It’s like a war zone,” I said more to myself than to my friend Barbara as we approached where the entrance to Coco Beach Village once stood.
The cluster of palm trees that anchored and framed the classic postcard view was no longer there. A lone sentinal remained, and its leafless trunk stretched skyward like a tattered symbol of a battle-weary war zone. Its neighbor across the concrete wall leaned dramatically toward the ground as if to echo the posture of discouraged homeowners.
The last time I walked this section of beach was in late June (photo above), and seeing the accelerated damage twisted an invisible knife in my stomach. The changes in June were alarming, and I stared in numbed silence as Barbara and I walked the same route two months later.
Flash back to February 2014, two months after the residents living on the beach first sounded the alarm. (See: It’s Devastating) There’s a vast difference between the people who observe the daily changes and those who second guess that feedback – yet don’t step onto the battlefield and witness those destructive waves from the front line.
One of those front-line people is a Pat Godkin, who allowed me to use her photo from when she first purchased her lot and slowly watched as her dream slowly evolved into a nightmare.
“If we know exactly where we’re going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we’ll see along the way, we won’t learn anything. ”
― M. Scott Peck
(La Concordia Ecuador)- Several years ago while riding a bus from the cloud forest of Mindo to the Pacific coast, I spotted a simple tin-roofed home with a variety of baskets displayed out front. The sight intrigued me, and I watched with wistful eyes each time I zoomed past in transit.
This past week as Barbara and I drove from Mindo to the coast, I watched for the “House of Baskets” as we reached the ‘rotunda’ at La Concordia. We parked just past the house and crossed a primitive footbridge that delivered us to the yard. Two smiling women immediately greeted us, and Barbara and I stepped into a beautiful cultural exchange.
Never sure if I’d be targeted as a tourist willing to pay twice the normal price, I bashfully asked, “Quanto cuesta?” and pointed to one of the larger baskets to define a starting point.
Standing at the arrivals gate, I held a sign that said, “Hummingbird.” – Many of you will know what this means! (The following photo was taken when she helped design the magic carpet; we had just finished painting the hummingbird for her home.)
Yes, my dear friend Barbara flew in from Panama last night and will be helping with various tasks in Mindo. I handed her a new pair of work gloves last night, and we’ll purchase the mandatory boots in Mindo! It will be fun to see what creative projects we tackle while she is here; for those interested, here’s a link to my friends’ property: A Little Bird Told Me
Speaking of gates, the all-seeing eye that watches over Casa Loca did not do the best job while I was in Mindo. My friends on the farm were trying to make the ‘bridge’ easier to use, but the workers forgot to clean up when finished! Continue reading
(Ecuador) – Last call to board the Magic Carpet for the Butterfly Safari! The gate’s about to close! Please have your cameras in hand and batteries charged! Volcano Cotopaxi released a bit of stress, but she’s quiet again. The clouds and volcanic ash have gone back to sleep, and we’ve been cleared for takeoff!
The full moon will be escorting us around the globe, with stops in South America, Central America, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America. Put on the headphones for in-flight music and prepare for the most unique safari you’ve ever experienced.
Ready? Set… Let’s Go!
“Well she’s walking through the clouds
With a circus mind
That’s running wild
Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams
And fairy tales,
That’s all she ever thinks about
Riding with the wind” – (Jimmie Hendrix)
Prepare for the first landing; it might be rough because this flight is loaded to full capacity. Oh goodness – excuse the turbulence — we veered beyond the landing spot!!! Our apologies – complimentary drinks will be provided!
Now where in the world are we? My navigator is checking the GPS…. Continue reading
Last-minute booking! Many people are signing up for the Butterfly Safari, so my navigator suggests we embark at midnight tonight beneath the full moon.
Norway, Prague (Sorry Lynn, but we have to at least buzz you and Ron while you’re on the river cruise!); Babs in the California foothills made a request, “Then let us land at that spot on that quiet lake, near the lily pads and reeds to watch the flitting around of the very colorful dragonflies.”
Barb, who is pondering flying here to help with some projects, will hop on in Panama and maybe she’ll stay onboard until we return the magic carpet to Casa Loca. We’ll pick up Wendy in Costa Rica and Debbie (and Ron too?) in Nicaragua and – wait, there’s John and Mary in Ecuador! So much planning, but hey, it’s a magic carpet Butterfly Safari!
Maurine in New Zealand, Maurine (and Jack) in Australia- boodness, we definitely have a magical ride on the wind as we chase butterflies around the world!
Leave a comment with the names of passengers (many of you will be bringing a guest?) and the location, and the navigator will get busy plotting the new itinerary! Wait, is there a lepidopterist in the house?
Thanks, everyone! It’s good being back online if only for a few days! What a finale, a moon-light Butterfly Safari!
It’s Luchy’s birthday, so I’m making a detour thru the middle of the day. I look forward to seeing the final passenger list. Will be back late afternoon to coordinate the flight.
See you tonight!
I’m alive and taking timeouts for Art. The post was written, as were the final parts for Flying Solo with Cats, but alas, the documents are now mysteriuosly absent after an update and restart. The power has been off each day from morning until 4 in the afternoon. Going to Mindo was not an option, as they would nhot have power or internet either!
Jim has flown to the USA and took one cat, Magpie, with him. Magpie is now in Colorado, and Jim is with Julie in Nebraska. Julie is doing better but has a long way to go before she regains her health.
Here are a few more images.. See you next week!
Mindo has been without power during the week days as they change power lines and posts. There have been few options for using the internet.
Suffice to say that all’s going well, and I’ll be back next week, power willing!
FLYING SOLO WITH CATS – Part Two (Part 1 HERE)
After leaving AllPets Vet Hospital, Jim and I followed their directions to find a pet-supply store near Quitcentro. We had already checked a pet shop in a mall in north Quito, and the carriers were too small. We searched for a second ‘big store’ that someone predicted would have three ‘kennels’ large enough for the airline requirements.
After a maze of wrong turns and being pointed in different directions by various people along the streets, we found the pet store with the big spotted dog sculpture outside the entrance. The very-nice man showed us one kennel that was large enough for a whopping price of almost 200 dollars. (This was on a Monday.) They only had one but could have three more for us by Thursday. We thanked him and said we would try to find more. He recommended we try a pet store in the nearby Quicentro mall.
Five or so minutes later we reached the shopping mall, and after several trips up and down escalators, out the doors and through an underground parking lot, we found the pet store tucked around a corner at below-ground level! Yes, they had one kennel that would work, and it was not as expensive as the one at the other store. He said that he’d call to see if he could get three more and to come back in five or so minutes. In search of white acrylic paint (for the Angels Trumpet painting) we went up one level to the art-supply store (No white paint!) then returned to the pet store. “Yes, we can get the kennels delivered here today. They will be here after six.”
(Ugh. The drive from Quito to their property in Mindo takes three hours! ) I politely explained and asked if it were possible for us to go to the supplier and pick them up there. He phoned someone and then said they would have them at the store at five. “Yes! Thank you so much! We will return at five!”
(Ecuador) Most of you know that my friend Julie is battling cancer in the USA, and I’m helping her husband Jim as he moves their home contents, personal belongings and 4 cats back to the USA. I am also helping him prepare to sell their 100+ hectare property near Mindo. After we waved ‘Goodbye’ to the moving company crew and their trucks, we began gathering information about sending the four feline members of the family to the USA. Before purchasing appropriate cat carriers/kennels, we needed the specs. Jim checked with USDA websites as well as the airlines. We also asked various friends and professionals, and we received conflicting information.
“It’s easy to send pets back to the USA.”
“Just be sure the vaccinations are up to date.”
“Any sturdy pet carrier will work.”
“All you need to do is show up with your pet and up-to-date paperwork, and fly the pet as carry on.”
“Measure the height of the pet, from the floor to the cat’s head or tail when it’s sitting or standing, and add two inches to that…”
“Ventilation on three sides of carrier/kennel.”
“Ventilation on four sides.”
“No vent holes on top.”
“Container for food and water must be attached to the inside of the carrier/kennel and accessible to the outside so that the food and water can be provided without opening the door.”
Every airline’s website seemed to have different online information, so we drove to the Quito airport (3 hours on a good day!) in hopes of finding the most reliable information. Continue reading
“Nature did all things well” – Michelangelo
(Mindo Ecuador)- The Angels Trumpet painting continues to grow! The design evolves depending on which flowers open each night. Because their peak bloom is at night, I bring one or two blossoms inside, where I arrange them to hang beside the canvas. (Their intoxicating fragrance is a grand bonus!)
There are four or five more evening painting sessions before the 3′ x 42″painting is finished. My internet time is limited, so enjoy watching these flowers come to life, and stay tuned for a more-technical post next week!
My Friends and WordPress Family:
The dengue and chikungunya side effects have all packed their bags and have left me in good health! Thank you so much for your support and concern as I regained my health. I am almost ready for the hurdles and am pain free. Yay!
Unfortunately, my Mindo friends are now the ones facing unexpected medical challenges, and I am in the cloud forest helping and will be mostly offline for the next few weeks. Julie is undergoing chemotherapy in Nebraska now, and I am helping Jim prepare to ship their belongings back to the USA. I will oversee their amazing property until it sells. It is with great sadness that I witness their dilemma, yet I am glad to be of help.
Will be online soon with details, but I will based in Mindo for the next few months and online briefly. I will leave you with sample images of the beauty of this area. Continue reading
“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
When given a sharp pencil, a blank piece of paper, and ten minutes or more of quiet time, I can usually find subject matter close at hand to occupy my attention. I have learned to admire the simplest of plants. A desiccated blade of grass can transform into an object of beauty via a finely-honed drawing.
The meandering philodendrom makes, for me, a fairly easy study. The basic shape and details of the leaves are forgiving and can be lightly drawn without too much fuss. The shading can be added later. This drawing is an unfinished work, though I am hesitant to continue.
My critical eye goes to the two simple leaves in the middle of the drawing. They seem to have a push-pull effect as if they’re not sure where they belong. Ten or so minutes of subtle shading will place them more firmly in the background. But wait -overworking a picture often ruins it.
The decision belongs to all of you; should I continue shading and adding depth, or is it time to stop? Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Would any of you consider drawing a blade of grass or three? I will try to do several studies of grass and will share those results next Thursday.
Sharpen that pencil and start drawing! :) Z
Isla Corazon, Rio Chone/Manabi Province, Ecuador
With a potential El Nino Phenomenom percoluting along the equator, many locals along the Pacific coast reach back and share stories of the El Nino of 1997 and ’98. One veteran of that extended season of torrential rains and mudslides is “Don Francisco” from the petite community of Puerto Portobelo on the north-east side of Rio Chone. The mangroves on the upper half of Isla Corazon washed away during the 1997/8 disaster, and silt from landslides and farmlands destroyed more trees and altered river channels. Francisco Reyes, who worked on a farm before the upper half of the island washed away, dedicated his time to replanting and restoring this heart-shaped island.
My friend Stephen visited several weeks ago, and I rode with him to Isla Corazon, where we took the two-hour tour of the island. Known best for having one of the largest colonies of frigate birds along the Pacific coast, Isla Corazon hosts many other bird species. I never tire of visiting Isla Corazon, admiring the bird life and hearing new stories. Each tour is unique, depending on which guide takes you on a special canoe ride and which birds and critters step onto the stage.
There are three things to consider when talking about the fine arts. There is the object itself, say, the painting in the gallery. Next, there is the spectator who is gazing at the painting with varying degrees of attention. And finally there is the interaction between the two — which some insist is the actual “work of art.”
Hugh Curtler/Daily Gadfly-The Eye of the Beholder
Bahia de Caraquez-Ecuador –
This week’s quote came from one of Hugh’s recent posts. I’d like to hear your feedback after reading his post, though Ron Mayhew published a few images that same week that confirm Hugh’s observations. See Ron’s: At The Museum Looking At Art Distracted (Ron, I’ve been unable to comment, but suffice to know that I enjoyed the photos!)
This finds me writing from Museo Bahia de Caraquez (Ecuador) where I’ve been staying and working on watercolor studies of artifacts this week. It’s great to work during the public-viewing hours, but it’s blissful when working after hours! I’m sobered by the staff’s trust in my presence here as I meander between my favorite pieces, settle in and merge psyches with the ancient artifacts!
There are lots of heart-warming stories from my time here at the museum, but it’s time to go to work! I’ll leave you with a thumbnail sheet of the progress.
Have a good day, and see you again soon with stories and more images! Z
With great pleasure, I embrace the start of this week feeling much better! I’m not ready for the hurdles or pole-vaulting competitions, but as Johnny Nash’s lyrics state, ‘I think I can make it now, the pain is gone.’
Enjoy Jimmy Cliff’s version of the song while cyber-strolling through Playamart’s Ecuador files.
Pour a cup of coffee or tea – hot or chilled and take a magic trip to the middle of the world. My neighbor Nelly will lead the parade!
Rio Cinto Ecuador
Subtle moods wash over the cloud forest from hour to hour. She can be sunny and bright one minute, and mysterious and moody another. Here is a token sample of specimen and native plants that decorate the landcape and gardens of my friends’ property in Mindo. Getting stronger every day, I’m hopeful to be visiting this lovely area in a few weeks and doing a few nature studies. Which ones do you think might inspire me?
For more flowers and foliage, keep scrolling!
(Note: This post addresses the side effects of dengue and chikungunya viruses and would probably bore anyone who is not facing a current or possible infection. Those not interested have my blessings to cross this page off their screen now!)
Manabi Province – Ecuador
Most every day someone asks me about chikungunya and dengue fever, as the mosquito-born viruses sweep through warmer/tropical areas of the Americas. Debbie, in Nicaragua is presently experiencing the fickle moods of what she suspects is chikungunya, yet it’s hard to get a firm diagnosis. My friend Jody and I swapped stories today, and she is also baffled as we wonder, ‘Which symptoms are linked to dengue, and which are linked to chikungunya?”
“Did the skin on your feet peel?” she asked. Continue reading
My friend Sarah dropped off a care package last month when I was recovering from dengue. In that thoughtful assortment of goodies was a blister pack of pain relievers. “I’ll bet you’ve taken a lot of these,” she smiled.
Sarah is a nurse, and I squirmed a bit when I answered, “Actually, I haven’t taken anything for the pain.” I added, “If I take medicine for the pain, it will lower my fever, and I feel as if that fever is there to burn out the virus. If I lower the fever, the virus lingers in my body for a longer period of time…”
I also stated that I felt it my duty to keep my infectious disease ‘quarantined’ during the fever stage so that I did not infect other people or other areas. I knew that the clinic was a short distance away in case of an emergency. (After the fever passed and I was stronger, I visited the clinic.)
FIND THE RIGHT MOSQUITO
I would never advise others to avoid pain killers or fever medications, but fifteen years ago I took fever reducers and was sick for two weeks. This time the high fever lasted less than two days, though the evolution of this dengue was totally different from the last. (There was also an added complication of the tag-along chikungunya virus that was hiding in the background.)
I suspect there are as many people who believe in the power of a fever, as there are people who think it’s best to lower a high fever as soon as possible. Several reputable sites have published articles about the ‘benefits of fever:
I am thrilled to pass along this information! If you’d like Sharon’s email address, leave a comment, and I will pass it along to you. The gallery is located near the popular “Mama Rosa’s Restaurant” in the port city ofManta Ecuador. -Z
From Artist-Gallery Owner-Art Instructor/Teacher, Sharon Statema:
You and your friends are invited to
Manta Galeria de Arte
Grand Opening Open House
Saturday, June 20, 2015
3 to 6 pm.
Stop in and take a look around. We have lots of artwork in all price ranges.
We look forward to seeing you,
Sharon and Marlin
Phone: 0969 667 891, US # 360-371-2496
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” Rachael Carson El Matal Ecuador – June 6 – 11, 2015 The coastline along Playa El Matal continues to change daily. This post will show images taken on June 9th and 11th, 2015. Before seeing this week’s changes, let’s turn back time and take a peek at this beach as it was in June 2012.
Let’s move forward to images from this week; the image below shows the Coco Beach entrance at the end of the road:
El Matal-Manabi Province- Ecuador
Once upon a time, a friend of mine gave me some advice that I carry with me every day. He said, “Lisa, remember to be on the offensive, so that you never find yourself in the defensive mode.” That advice from my Episcopalian priest-friend has been some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
I have watched my friends take a proactive role after Mother Ocean took her first big bites from El Matal 18 months ago. They researched, brought in engineers and specialists and selected the sand-bag approach based on the advice they were given.
“The sand bags will buy you time to put a more long-term solution in place,” Engineer Daniel Santana suggested at a public meeting in March 2014.
A summary of those meetings and work done on the bags can be found HERE.
How well I remember the beauty of this beach. Look at the image taken in June of 2012 during the post-painting competition…
Mother Ocean played a sadistic card this past weekend, and the people of El Matal do not appreciate her sense of humor. The critical window during the high tides passed, and when everyone assumed there would be two weeks of relief, she played her trump card. Most of the following images were taken at the same spot as the image above.
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form.
It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
― Wendell Berry
Fatigue and sore joints linger as I slowly reclaim my normal life ‘after dengue.’ Painting presents some new challenges; one is an unpredictable shake that suddenly takes control of my hand and then vanishes just as quickly. I ignore it and assume it will eventually grow bored and vanish. The fatigue affects my ability to stick with the painting, and after an hour’s session, I usually stop and rest for another hour. The birds provide excellent distraction for those commercial breaks.
Painting this watercolor has been work. It has also provided a necessary discipline for me to show up for work even if I feel like playing hooky. I stare at the painting and nudge myself to move forward. Losing electricity hasn’t helped, but I moved my work area to a window and cut fresh flowers for reference.
We were without power all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Building a bit more physical strength, I squeezed in several painting sessions and then slept for ten hours. While painting on Sunday night, we lost power again; that’s one way to stop progress on a painting! On Monday morning, I could not find the painting. I eventually found it propped on a shelf, where I had critiqued it the night before by candle light. Continue reading
“Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.”
– Paul Klee
This vine grows wild in the nearby landscape and has exploded into bloom from the recent rains. I often arrange the cobalt-blue flowers in nosegays, which perch on shelves or near the kitchen sink and give me little smiles throughout the day. Planning to add the petite blue morning glory’s likeness to the butterfly study, I admired the sinuous lines and decided that it deserved its own study!
There are times, when my eye-hand-brain connection is so in sync, that using a pencil before painting would seem redundant. There are other times when that faint map of pencil simplifies the process and strengthens the end result. After studying the lines of the trailing vine, I began to paint without the aid of a pencil.
The global snapshot of biodiversity is a specific window of time when we especially encourage people to get outside and share photos of their encounters with plants, animals, and fungi. This year, the global snapshot is happening over 11 days, from May 15 to 25, 2015. The goal is to document biodiversity all over the world during this time period.” (from: Great Nature Project FAQ)
It’s late at night, and I’m feeling better but am itching, a side effect from dengue fever. Slowly regaining my strength, I look forward to photographing the flora and fauna at Casa Loca and contributing to the Great Nature Project. This is a great opportunity to involve the younger generation and get them interested in their natural world. The deadline is Monday; for more information, start here:
(Jama, Ecuador)—“Dengue or Chikunguya?” — In the evolution of getting well from this mosquito-inflicted illness, I’ve visited the local clinic four times in the past two weeks. Although I have used the ER room before, it has been a different experience this time. First, the clinic was filled with people tormented with physical pain, and second was the extreme empathy the sick ones received from their loved ones as they waited to see the doctor.
This past weekend after a three-day respite, I faced new symptoms. There was a low fever, and muscle pain replaced the bone and joint pain. Weakness returned, my blood pressure was low, and a painful rash dotted my chest. On Sunday night I found no relief from the discomfort, and as I awakened for surely the 100th time, I sat on the edge of the bed and peered out into the darkness. I thought of the people in the world who are fighting daily pain, and that my pain would soon be gone. I thought of Rob Thomas’s song, Her Diamonds, which describes his love and empathy for his wife and her battle with autoimmune pain. I planned to return to the clinic for another round of blood tests, but I did not realize I’d be witnessing many illustrations of “Her Diamonds.” Continue reading
(Jama Ecuador) – I remain humbled by a tiny insect. How many of you have ever been resting comfortably until the hummming sound of a nearby mosquito suddenly went silent? We wonder where it landed, and if it’s about to take a blood sample! If there’s a mosquito-borne epidemic in your area, you’ll dart for the repellent! Oh, I marvel at the power of a tiny mosquito!
As I entered the clinic yesterday, another friend was leaving.
“Dengue,” Patricia smiled.
Patricia works at the corner grocery store, and I wondered if her coworkers were sweating out the same illness. There seem to be just as many people sick with dengue as they are with Chikungunya.
Most any person in town seems to enjoy saying this new word, Chikungunya. (Repeat After Me: “Chee-Koon-Goon-Yah.”)
As for my recent illness, it’s not dengue, but it might be Chikungunya, though the doctor seemed surprised that I am now free of all symptoms.
“What medications are you taking?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I smiled.
She looked at me as if I’d just told her that I’d cut off my fingers to stop the pain. Continue reading
“You look awful,” were his first words.
“Thanks.” Nate grabbed the coat and put it on.
“You’re skinny as a rail.”
“You wanna lose fifteen pounds, find the right mosquito.”
*-The Testament – John Grisham
(Jama/Manabi/ Ecuador) We lost power last night, first here in this 7-house circuit and later during the night, the entire area went black. I’m placing my bets that power will be restored to all areas except this one. We seem to be the power company’s step children!
I am elated to announce that today I feel 100 percent well – yee-HA!
Until today, one would have thought I had anorexia, as all possible food options turned my stomach. At one this morning, when I found myself dicing a ripe plantain and simmering it in a bit of water with lemon and cinnamon, I thought, “You’re on your way back to wellness!”
I sat on the deck and peered out into the cloud-filtered moonscape and enjoyed my warm, comforting snack. The simmered plantains are a bit like having fruit cobbler filling without the pastry!
Can you tell that I’m better? I am still weak but can now stand for more than five minutes without feeing faint. I can go up and down the stairs without having to stop and sit. The worst part of the sickness was the extreme fatigue, as if strong G forces had me strapped in a prone position that seemed impossible to break. Just lifting my hands took extreme effort. A bonus was that the sleep was deep, intense and easy. I rolled out of a dream-filled sleep just long enough to take my temperature , check my pulse, drink my water and roll right back into more vivid dreams.
On Saturday I was aware of dangerous high waves that would be assaulting the Pacific Coast, and at times I heard the waves ripping upriver. The deep sleep often trumped my will to look out the window, but several times I pulled free of the fog, retrieved my camera and caught a few unique moments. (Photos won’t upload here.) Before fainting, I dashed back to bed and into instant slumber. The sleep was a gift, thank you dear dengue.
If this was dengue, it was the fastest surgical strike I’ve ever known. As if driving along on cruise control and suddenly you have a blowout. Wham! After the fever peaked at 39.5, each day it was down one degree. As the fever lowered, my symptoms also lessened. I kept waiting for that other shoe to drop, but it never did, grrrrrrracias a-Dios. The weakness had the most endurance of all symptoms, but that’s probably Nature making sure that one doesn’t try to spring back too fast. It’s hard to believe that this time last week I felt 100-percent well with no clue of the approaching train wreck!
I will be going by the clinic sometime today to get my platelets checked and to report my dengue — or whatever it was — and look forward to taking it easy and getting a little stronger each day. “Poco a poco.”
Last night I found myself irritated by the sounds of the pumps and aerators on the shrimp farms. I couldn’t sleep, which is why I cooked the plantains. I chuckled and knew that I was getting better!!
I think that sometimes we need to experience illness so that we can appreciate wellness.
Thank you all for your beautiful outpouring of love!
Grrr! This has taken hours to post! I select ‘Publish’ and it rolls around and goes to a blank page.. if I hit the back button, it’s also a blank page. Here’s the fifth or maybe sixth attempt:(Hee-hee, because the ‘update post’ often loses my work, and the publish keeps going AWOL, I outsmarted it and scheduled it to be published six minutes from now!)
Just a quick postscript before I nod off to sleep (again!) –
It would be very insensitive of me to go to sleep without giving an update, as I don’t want anyone to lose sleep while worrying about me!
The day has gone well, and my temperature is lower, today staying around 38 instead of yesterday’s 39. The aching joints are not so bad now, and my grip is stronger than those first days when I could barely shake the thermometer or hold a drinking glass.
My gift for the day was a young egret fledgling – or perhaps an immature blue heron – that was inspecting the Casa Loca gardens at ground level. Not wearing my contact lenses, I could only detect its fuzzy juvenile appearance as it quickly darted for cover. Since my stamina is still horrid, I did not allow it to lead me astray. Perhaps tomorrow if I’m stronger I’ll do my own garden inspection and see if there’s a new squatter in the neighborhood!
Good night, everyone, and thank you so much for the outpouring of love! I should sleep all night with zero problems, and hope to awaken feeling much much stronger!
My dear friends; as I stated, I am usually unable to reply to comments but can email. Many friends have emailed, and I promised, most all want to do the same thing – come get me. I mentioned in the post that I had emailed Xavier and told him to stay away, but I didn’t add that I told him to keep it quiet or half of Jama would be coming to my rescue. Sometimes the quiet and serenity of one’s own home and bed is the best medicine. There are others on standby, and they know if I start feeling more serious complications, I will let them know. As the saying goes, I might be crazy but I’m not stupid!
I am very comfortable and am feeling pretty good considering that I have dengue. This case is much easier than the first. My temp is much lower, my pulse, which was up a bit one day, is now back to its 50 or so beats per minute.
Believe me, from year to year I keep up with dengue stats and the warnings. I wrote this so that others could understand what it’s like to have dengue. Don’t make me regret that I wrote this post! I am touched by your comments… I’d best publish this before the marines show up on my doorstep!
I love you all!
It hurts only if I move.
On the first night, I rolled over in my sleep and was aware of a stiffness in a few of my fingers.
“Potatoes. I haven’t been eating lots of potatoes. Why are my joints hurting?”
Years ago I figured out a trigger for arthritis-like pain in my hands; some people are sensitive to foods in the nightshade family, and eliminating potatoes from my diet eliminated the painful joints.
I flexed my fingers; one was especially sensitive, like an embedded and festering thorn had lodged beneath the skin. Could the many hours of holding an extra-large paint brush had caused this pain?
Never having problems going to sleep, I rolled over and quickly resumed my dreams.
My hands still hurt in the morning, and when I took my first step, my ankle protested, “Yow!” The other mocked the first. Uh-oh. I suspected that this bout with joint pain would not be as simple as eliminating potatoes from my diet. As I mentioned in the last post, I had spent time with a friend last week who came down with dengue. Most likely the dreaded dengue virus had climbed aboard via a teeny-weeny mosquito, and if so, it would probably torment me for several weeks before giving up. Continue reading
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou”
My dear friend, Gloria, who owns Hotel Ciragan, often refuses my money when I stay at her place in town. “You owe me nothing,” she smiles in her elegant style. “That’s OK,” I accept with a smile, “Two can play this game…”